Louis Van Gaal was full of praise for his Dutch players in the recent World Cup, but his apparent reluctance to recruit any of them since his arrival at Old Trafford might suggest he does not rate them as individuals.
The new Manchester United manager has yet to add defensive reinforcements to his squad since he arrived at Old Trafford, but with Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra leaving the club, and the new manager's desire to play three centre backs means signings will need to be made to strengthen this area of the team.
The obvious solution would have been to re-unite his first choice back three who were well organised and frugal for Holland in Brazil. This could have be done for a relatively modest outlay.
Stefan De Vrij, for example, was continually linked with a move to United during June and July, but the 22-year-old defender finally joined Lazio for a modest fee reported to be around £6 million. After his move to Rome, De Vrij admitted that, "although a number of clubs showed interest, United weren't one of them."
A second member of this defensive triumvirate who, again, was continually considered a United target, was 22-year-old Bruno Martins Indi. Once again, a similar fee was paid by Portugese outfit, Porto, and a deal was done. It is hard to believe that the Reds could not have stepped in if Van Gaal had been interested.
The third defender is Aston Villa's 29-year-old Ron Vlaar, who was considered by many observers to be one of the best defenders in the recent World Cup. Vlaar's great advantage is his vast experience of the Premier League and a transfer fee similar to that of his compatriots. Nevertheless, according to Skybet, he is an even money shot to join Southampton, with United at 5/1 and only third favourites.
So, it would seem that Van Gaal, for cumulative transfer fees of under £20m, has overlooked a back three that took him to within a whisker of the World Cup final.
A similar observation could be made in relation to his right wing back in Brazil, Daryl Janmaat, who recently joined Newcastle United.
The two conclusions that might be drawn from this are that Van Gaal doesn't really rate any of them individually and that he is more confident than most United fans that he has world class alternatives waiting in the wings.
The recent tour of the USA showed that his squad is well blessed with attacking talent, but lacks the defensive grit and know how to be successful in what will be a demanding Premier League campaign.
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